Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A naughty night at the Modbo and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

COURTESY MODBO
  • Courtesy Modbo

Modbo Ho Ho

Dec. 14, 7 and 9:30 p.m., 17C E. Bijou St., $15, themodbo@gmail.com or 633-4240

Amidst the ballets, plays and symphonies filled with wholesome holiday cheer comes an event no less artistic but distinctly naughtier in nature. The beloved Modbo Ho Ho is returning to delight audiences with a refreshing seasonal celebration that doesn’t douse the crowd with saccharine sentiments or socially acceptable content.

“The Ho Ho began 10 years ago in an attempt to entertain people during a season where things get taken much too seriously,” says Modbo owner Lauren Ciborowski. “We wanted to bring some levity and joy to people.”

Audiences can expect a wide variety of performers during the decidedly R-rated evening. Ciborowski explains that the Ho Ho is a musical variety show complete with holiday song parodies, original songs, sketches and a bit of burlesque.

The talent is top-notch as well, pulling the show together within a few rehearsals.
“It adds this awesome air of spontaneity to the whole thing,” Ciborowski explains. “I can only pull it off because my cast is comprised of talented professionals who are willing to just run with things. This year, I even have three performers coming in from across the country.”
Ciborowski promises exceptional artists throughout the evening, but her favorite performance is done by not-quite-a-Saint Nick.

“I have at my disposal a Santa who not only has the voice of a goddamn angel, but who is willing to attempt ‘burlesque’ every year.”

The Ho Ho has been a fan favorite for the last decade largely because of its ability to feel festive without being cloying. However, Ciborowski warns that it’s meant for audiences who don’t take things too seriously.

“We do tend to have over-the-top, offensive humor, so sometimes people are a little shocked — but it’s not because we didn’t warn them.”

Of course, there are also some more poignant moments to be had, with numbers that Ciborowski describes as solemn and lovely. That’s the beauty of the show, really. Despite its irreverence, these are authentic artists with real talent that will absolutely impress the crowd.


The Sound of Music

Dec. 12, 7 p.m., 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, runs through Jan. 12, fac.coloradocollege.edu

While The Sound of Music has nothing to do with Christmas, the timeless story, be it in film or stage form, has become a favorite holiday experience for families. The Fine Arts Center Theatre Company presents a powerful production that tells the story of seven charming children, their stern father and a not-quite nun as they become a family and escape from the perilous invasion of the Nazis. Of course, all your favorite songs will be included, giving you something to hum on the way home.

Art and Beer Book Signing

Dec. 13, 3:30-6 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Museum Gift Shop, 30 W. Dale St., bijouartbooks.com

Local artist Ceil Horowitz has spent 61/2 years traveling the Rocky Mountains and painting the unique beers of Colorado — 99 of them, to be exact. Her new book Take One Down Pass It Around shares the journey in a collection of colorful paintings, stories and poetry. Each painting was completed on-site and you might recognize quite a few favorite local venues on its pages. In fact, the entire book, from idea to product, was completed right here in Colorado. Get a signed copy or a signed print, plus complimentary beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, at this signing.

COURTESY HOLIDAY VEGAN MARKET 2019
  • Courtesy Holiday Vegan Market 2019

Holiday Vegan Market

Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, ppld.org/veganmarket

It’s big, it’s local and it’s 100 percent vegan! Peruse 50 unique vendors at this incredible holiday market that offers wares and eats that are completely free of animal products. You’ll find vegan groceries, hygiene products, clothing and candy. Local cookbook authors will be on-site cooking up tasty vegan concoctions, plus indoor food vendors and local food trucks will be there, ready re-fuel shoppers throughout the event. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the vegan in your life, you’re sure to find it here. Spoil them with great stuff.

Recover the Fun

Dec. 18, 6-8 p.m., 1102 S. 21st St., recoversimply.com

Holidays can make navigating recovery from substance abuse a challenge. Recover the Fun creates safe opportunities for people in recovery and their friends, family and supporters to get out, create connections and build community while working on hands-on projects that foster creativity. December’s event focuses on self-care, and local skin care shop Brazen Bee Beauty will be there helping guests create customized lotions that are luxurious, organic and nourishing. Recover the Fun is an inclusive, supportive event that welcomes everyone, no matter where they are on their path to recovery.

Editor's note: This page has been updated to include the location of the book signing within the Fine Arts Center.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ormao Dance Company offers a night of multimedia art, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

ALBERTO LEOPIZZI
  • Alberto Leopizzi

5-4-3-2-1

Dec. 6-8, 7 p.m., and Dec. 7 and 8, 4 p.m., 10 S. Spruce St., $20-$26, ormaodance.org

Immerse yourself in the arts this weekend with Ormao Dance Company’s highly ambitious show, 5-4-3-2-1. The multi-disciplinary performance promises audiences an unforgettable experience that will encompass music, story, art and dance.

“We have chosen to transform our studios into black box theatrical spaces to create a new environment for our patrons to experience modern dance up close,” says Janet Johnson, Ormao executive and artistic director. “Patrons will have a full sensory experience with one studio for the dance performance and one studio for the art installation, and a post-concert reception with beverages and hors d’oeuvres.”

Each performance is limited to just 50 attendees, which Johnson says will create an intimate experience for the audience. The smaller crowd will allow the entire audience to see modern dance up close and truly feel the energy of the dancers as they move through the space.
Ten professional dancers will perform modern and contemporary original works created by Johnson and five other acclaimed choreographers. While the subject conveyed in each dance will be different, all will illustrate the power of dance as a storytelling device.

“We embrace dance as an art form, a celebration of human connection, expression, and diverse life experience,” says Johnson.

The music will be as varied as the evening, including scores from composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, plus catchy and classic tunes from the likes of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A work titled “3” will even feature a didgeridoo accompanying a dance originally intended to be performed in four different sections to completely different music. The contrast between intention, action and sound should create a dynamic experience.

Artist Wendy Mike’s accompanying art installation will explore the show’s “5-4-3-2-1” theme through a series of vignettes intended to complement the evening’s choreography.

“Whereas the dancers explore this through movement, changing as they carve the space with their bodies, the art presents a kind of still life of each configuration,” says Mike. Her installations and other works have been in multiple Colorado Springs galleries, as well as local indoor climbing gym CityROCK. She says her work to capture the body in motion in three dimensions has made this partnership with Ormao quite natural.


You Look Like! A Comedy Roast Battle

Dec. 5, 6:15-9 p.m., 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $6 and two item minimum, loonees.com

Want to spice up an otherwise boring Thursday evening? Loonees Comedy Corner is ready to entertain you with a full bar and lots of laughs. During this special event, comedians will go head-to-head in an epic roast battle that ends with one winner who will become the new champion. What is a roast battle? Think of it like a shootout at the O.K. Corral, but with insults instead of pistols. All the comedians are fully informed and ready to rumble so there’s no need to feel bad during particularly epic burns — it’s all part of the game.

Small Works Show

Opening reception, Dec. 6, 5:30-11 p.m., 17B and 17C E. Bijou St., free, themodbo.com
This phenomenal show is stocked with tiny works that pack a big punch of creativity. From floor to ceiling throughout The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. Artspace next door, you’ll find artwork no larger than 18 inches in every dimension that’s ready to be bought and carried home — or to the home of someone you love. Of course, that means you won’t want to dally if you find an exceptional piece of art; the show runs through Jan. 3 but there’s no telling whether another fan might snap it up. With contributions from more than 150 artists and no limitations on the mediums or subject matter, there is sure to be at least one perfect piece to feed your visual soul.

Healing Out Loud

Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., 1626 S. Tejon St., donation, themat.org

The stigma attached to addiction and mental illness can often make those who live with these challenges feel invisible. So their successes as they navigate their recovery are no small feat. Nonprofits Homeward Pikes Peak and the Millibo Art Theatre will honor these individuals with an evening of music, comedy, spoken word, dance and other performances. Prepare to laugh, cry and leave with a new appreciation for the journey to recovery. Proceeds from the evening support Homeward Pikes Peak in its mission to offer supportive housing services for those experiencing homelessness, as well as recovery services for those struggling with addiction.

COURTESY HAUNTED MINES
  • Courtesy Haunted Mines

Holiday House of Horrors

Dec. 13-14, 7-10 p.m., 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., $20, hellscreamhaunt.com

If you just can’t let the horrors of Halloween rest in peace, there’s a place for you at the Haunted Mines. They won’t make you feel bad that you cheered for the ghosts that visited Ebenezer Scrooge, nor will they dare argue with your belief that Nightmare Before Christmas is both a Halloween and a Christmas flick. They just want to scare your stockings off — and they’ll do a great job of it, too. For two days only, the popular haunted house is decking the halls with Christmas fear in a haunt featuring evil elves, sinister Santa, and the king of scary Christmas lore, Krampus. Disclaimer: A visit will definitely put you on the naughty list.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas This Year celebrates special abilities, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 1:00 AM

COURTESY OF DANIELLE SCHMIDT
  • Courtesy of Danielle Schmidt

Christmas This Year


Dec. 5, 7 p.m., Dec. 7, 2 and 6 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $12-$25,
christmasthisyear.org


Local musician Jared Anderson is used to being in the spotlight. His career as a Christian music artist and his calling as a worship leader at New Life Church have given him a healthy amount of time in front of live audiences. During his upcoming variety show Christmas This Year, however, he will perform in a much smaller capacity, ceding the stage to the exceptional talents of Colorado Springs’ dynamic special abilities community.

Anderson was inspired to create the variety show after visiting a school in South Africa called Club 21, which specializes in supporting the education and development of people with Down syndrome. Services for people with disabilities are limited, and many individuals with Down syndrome are placed in schools that do not offer the unique services they need to achieve their fullest potential. Club 21 is the only school in South Africa that provides such specialized support.

Anderson had visited the school to perform for the students. It led to an afternoon of singing, dancing and engaging with the students that truly inspired him. After the event, a colleague remarked that it would be amazing to hold a similar event in Colorado Springs. Anderson agreed. He returned home and he and his wife, Megan, sat down and began to create the program.

Five years later, the show has grown into a beloved event for members of the special abilities community and their families, as well as the community at large. Anderson, his wife and their six children all participate in running the show, and the proceeds benefit Club 21 and local nonprofits for individuals with Down syndrome.

“This show is a celebration of their abilities, as well as a chance to partner in advocacy for people that do not have access to services,” says Anderson.

Attendees can expect an evening of comedy, skits, dances, funny videos and even a unicycle act. Everyone has been hard at work honing their performances and Anderson says audiences are sure to leave the show feeling uplifted.

“These kids and adults are so often spectators at other people’s performances and competitions,” says Anderson. “They cheer on their loved ones and are so supportive. Bringing them into the spotlight to share their own talents is such a joyful experience.”

#OptOutside Night Hike

Nov. 29, 5:30-8 p.m., 1805 N. 30th St., $8, facebook.com/TrailsAndOpenSpaceCoalition

The state’s largest organized night hike is back to help you #OptOutside of the retail chaos that is Black Friday. Hike Garden of the Gods at night with only glowing markers to guide you. No moon means a particularly dark adventure, so be sure to bring a flashlight — red-tinted lights are highly recommended for maximum enjoyment. This year, the hike has introduced timed entry tickets to ensure that the trails aren’t overly packed. Beyond traipsing the trails, attendees can also meet nocturnal birds of prey and check out the stars using professional-quality telescopes set up by the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society.

Scrap Exchange

Nov. 29, 1-4 p.m., Rockrimmon Library, 832 Village Center Drive, whogivesascrapcolorado.com

Every crafter has that stack of unused scrapbooking paper, stray skein of yarn or abandoned jar of glitter cluttering up the creative space with no real purpose. Why not exchange it for something useful — and maybe nurture a little crafting camaraderie with your fellow makers while you’re at it? Bring in clean, gently-used crafting materials to the Who Gives a Scrap supply swap. You’ll exchange your items for tickets that you can then use to “purchase” new-to-you items for all your artistic endeavors. When you’re done collecting supplies and inspiration for your next big creation, you can hop on over to the project table where you’ll find a craft activity with upcycled materials.

Small Business Saturday

Nov. 30, Runs all day long at locations throughout the Pikes Peak region

Give meaningful gifts that support the local economy this holiday season by shopping on Small Business Saturday. This special day has become a popular way to take the focus off the big box stores that tend to dominate holiday sales. Give special attention to the small businesses that contribute directly to their local economies through their tax dollars, philanthropy and support of local makers. Shoppers can expect special sales throughout the city, as well as free parking downtown and visits from Santa in Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City.

Bright Saturday Comedy Show

Nov. 30, 7-9 p.m., Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $5-$10, tinyurl.com/OxymoronsBrightSaturday

After a week of eating, shopping and family time, Oxymorons Comedy wants to give you a breather with an evening of improv comedy. The locally based troupe prides itself on clean performances that can be enjoyed by everyone without sacrificing any hilarity. That means you’re safe to bring your ultra-conservative uncle, naughtier cousins and eye-rolling teens — like Thanksgiving dinner but, you know, fun. The show includes a raffle for gift certificates to local attractions, restaurants and merchants with proceeds going to support Christmas Unlimited.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jenny LaJoye opens queer open mic, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 1:00 AM

COURTESY JENNY LAJOYE
  • Courtesy Jenny LaJoye

Friendsgiving! A Queer Open Mic

Nov. 24, 6:30-9 p.m., 5460 N. Union Blvd., free, facebook.com/findinghomeCOS

Denver-based singer and songwriter Jenny LaJoye brings their unique folk/pop sound to Colorado Springs for an evening focused on music, friendship, creativity and community. Keep Colorado Springs Queer!, Hear, Hear! Poetry and Finding Home have teamed up to create an unforgettable open mic experience for the Colorado Springs queer community.

LaJoye’s music creates a powerfully positive vibe that connects with the audience across many different levels. Their music aims to remind others of their humanity and turn their gaze to the goodness that lies within them. As LaJoye's bio states, “Everyone is made of the good stuff.”
Their songs often utilize a vocal loop, which allows them to use their own voice to create dynamic sound and beautiful layers of accompaniment. Classically trained in violin and influenced by jazz, musical theater, folk and blues, LaJoye creates music that embraces it all, while still adhering to their own special sound. Their lyrics, thoughtful and sincere, bring it all home.

Their newest album, Alters, has a theological bent, which is fitting considering that Finding Home is one of the co-hosts of this event. Finding Home provides an open-minded, spiritual place for those who feel left behind by organized religion, yet still seek a space to practice their faith — whatever that faith might be. The venue, Grande United Church of Christ, is equally supportive and inclusive, offering another layer of warmth and support to the LGBTQ community.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Friendsgiving without good food, so all guests are invited to bring a dish and partake in the pre-show vegan potluck.

The evening will close with a showcase featuring incredibly talented performers from the Colorado Springs queer community. Poets, musicians, comedians, writers and any other performer can take a turn at the mic and shine.

Demystifying Ethnicity Testing

Nov. 21, 2-4 p.m., 20 N. Cascade Ave., free, ppgs.org

The popularity of at-home DNA test kits has boomed in recent years, and the results people have received have caused more than a few surprises, not to mention confusion. Dr. Greg Liverman will help attendees decode the information provided in testing reports with an informative presentation that provides a brief introduction to the science of DNA, explores migration patterns of humanity’s ancient ancestors and helps create a deeper understanding of ethnicity and ancestry. Registration is required for this free event.

KAYLA COBURN
  • Kayla Coburn

The Petite Nutcracker

Nov. 22, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, $3, danceinthesprings.com/tickets

The Nutcracker has long been a staple event of the holiday season. The colorful sets and costumes, and fanciful storyline make it an engaging performance for many kids, but the length and formality isn’t always the best fit for others. In this special show, kiddos will be treated to a performance by the Connexus Dance Collective, followed by a condensed, 20-minute version of The Nutcracker ballet, complete with tutus, music and lots of fun.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave., coloradosprings.gov/parks

Pull your coziest sweater out of winter storage, break out the thermos of cocoa and get ready for all the holiday fun at the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony. This family-friendly event offers fun games, live music and a visit from jolly old Saint Nick to help you kick your holiday spirit into high gear. The event itself is free, but for $10 you can rent some skates and venture out on Acacia Park's outdoor ice rink to make it a truly splendid affair.

Turkey Trot 5K

Nov. 28. Race at 9 a.m., kids’ fun run at 8:15 a.m., Briargate YMCA, 4025 Family Place, $10-$40, tinyurl.com/BriargateTT2019

Start your Thanksgiving Day off with an endorphin rush at the Turkey Trot 5K. While this is a chip-timed race with prizes for the top three male and female finishers in each division, the race is also super family-friendly. There’s a free Tiny Trot for littles 12 and under, and if you are so inclined, you can also enter your dog for $15. They’ll get a Turkey Trot bandana (the dog, not the kid), plus a treat. Frankly, it’s worth it for the costumes alone — who knew there was such a variety of turkey hats?
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

PPCC presents an intimate theater experience with The Wolves, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 1:00 AM

SARAH SHAVER
  • Sarah Shaver

The Wolves

Nov. 20, 7 p.m., runs through Nov. 24, 5675 S. Academy Blvd., free, tinyurl.com/TheWolves-PPCC

The unfiltered lives of teenage girls play out in Pikes Peak Community College’s production of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves. The play, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017, follows nine girls on an American indoor soccer team as they struggle with the massive and minute complexities of their lives and the world at large. Each scene opens as the warm-up to a soccer game, providing the viewer with an intimate insight into the frank conversations that go on between girls when no one is watching.

“I fell in love with this piece,” says director Sarah Shaver. “The script is so interesting in the way it uses parallel conversations.”

She provides an example of this method, describing the opening scene in which characters on one side of the room discuss menstruation and feminine hygiene products while across the stage, a different set of characters discusses the arrest of a murderous dictator.
“It mimics teenage girl conversations in a really exquisite way,” says Shaver.

Shaver also likes that the script has a sizable cast of female characters, a feature that is not always easy to find in popular plays.

“I think the performers are excited to have a significant ensemble role in a piece that is so decidedly feminine,” says Shaver. She also notes an interesting phenomenon that comes with directing an all-female cast — the actors themselves become as unfiltered as their characters.
“Girls uncensored by the presence of a male have a lot of interesting things to say,” says Shafer with a laugh.

In addition to its all-female cast, the play also proved unique in that it required a bit of offstage rehearsal. The actors spent several Saturdays in the park practicing soccer moves for some of the scenes. Many of the cast members are also dancers, so acting out feats of athleticism wasn’t too difficult.

Shaver describes the play as a slice of inner life across a spectrum of different experiences.
“I think everyone should be able to find a little bit of themselves in this.”

The show is offered for free to the community; the theater only requests that attendees bring in nonperishable food or toiletries for the PPCC food pantry. It will also feature shadow American Sign Language interpreting provided by PPCC students for all but the Nov. 22 performance.


Beginner's Capture the Flag

Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m., SecureSet, 523 S. Cascade Ave., free, tinyurl.com/SecSet-flag

Want to flex your fledgling hacking skills or acquire some new ones? Grab your laptop and head over to SecureSet for a Cyber Capture the Flag session developed for beginners in cybersecurity and hacking. Instructors will help you set up your computer and teach you how to navigate the beginner levels before setting you free to test your abilities. Pizza and drinks are included. Registration is required. Read the computer requirements carefully to be sure you’re not stuck playing Solitaire while everyone else has fun.

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Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival Opening Night

Opening night: Nov. 15, 6-10 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $50-$185, rmwfilm.org

Back for its 32nd year, this festival features hours of exceptional cinema that present the diverse experiences of women. The weekend opens with a celebratory cocktail party and a screening of Moonlight Sonata, a powerful memoir about deafness, empathy, loss and strength. Filmmaker Taylor Brodsky will be in attendance during the screening. The rest of the weekend will feature 39 more films shown across five screens at Colorado College. Other activities include a filmmaker forum, an after-dark party with two exclusive film screenings and several filmmaker Q&A sessions.

Swing Dance Wonderland

Nov. 16, 7-10:30 p.m., Dance Wonderland, 2103 N. Weber St., $8-$10, tinyurl.com/DW-SwingWhirl

Give swing dancing a whirl at this friendly and fun party perfect for beginners and experts alike. If you’re new to swing, you can drop in an hour before the party and get a lesson in swing fundamentals for an extra $2. If you’re a master of fancy footwork, skip the lesson and hit the floor at 8 p.m. Feel free to bring a partner, but it’s not necessary. Plenty of people will be delighted to take a turn, even if you’re not all that sure-footed just yet. Dress comfortably and wear shoes with non-marking soles.


Winter Sports and Rec Expo

Nov. 20, 5-8:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, CSYoungProfessionals.com

Winter in Colorado does not signal the end of sports, fitness and outdoor fun. It really just amounts to adding more layers and occasionally upgrading your flip-flops to closed-toed footwear. With that in mind, the Winter Sports and Rec Expo has arrived, ready to connect you with vendors, event organizers, local nonprofits and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. You might even find some indoor rec folks who can help you max out your endorphins when you can’t get outside.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

José Olivarez presents poignant poetry at PPLD, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

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José Olivarez: Citizen Illegal

Nov. 7, 7-9 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., free, tinyurl.com/PPLD-JOlivarez

The Pikes Peak Library District has put quite a bit of effort into coaxing talented, popular writers into visiting Colorado Springs. This week’s presentation and poetry reading by award-winning poet José Olivarez is no exception. His latest book of poetry, Citizen Illegal, was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and won the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It also happens to be a 2019 All Pikes Peak Reads selection, which is why lucky readers will now get their chance to hear Olivarez share his work in person.

The topic of immigration is constantly a part of the public conversation but the discussion — in the media, in politics and in policy — often marginalizes the real people involved. They become data points instead of human beings. Olivarez’s poetry shares his personal experience as the son of Mexican immigrants, tackling topics like identity and the feeling of being “other” in an autobiography in verse.

Olivarez’s poetry buckles you into the passenger seat and takes you along on a guided tour of his life. Some poems, like “My Parents Fold Like Luggage,” tell of the plight of those seeking a new life in the United States, making readers take in their palpable sense of fear. Others, like “My Therapist Says to Make Friends with Your Monsters,” share thoughts that many people never say out loud. His work offers a frank intimacy regarding body image, his desire to blend in, and his family. The moments in his work that are the hardest to read are often those that connect readers to their own painful or mortifying experiences.

Olivarez will provide a presentation and a reading from Citizen Illegal, and books will be available for purchase at the event.
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Mother Courage and Her Children

Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., runs through Nov. 24, $18-$25, themat.org
 
Mother Courage and Her Children will break your heart, crush your soul and leave you wrung out — and it’s totally worth it. Set in the 17th century during Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, the play tells the story of Mother Courage as she struggles to survive but slowly loses everything that matters. This stunning play was written by Bertolt Brecht in 1939 as a response to the rise of fascism and Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Bring tissues.


Bear Creek Bear Run
Nov. 9, 10 a.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, $30-$60, communityservices.elpasoco.com

What kind of race comes with a giant bear suit? Only the best kind, of course. The Bear Creek Bear Run is a totally fun, fuzzy and festive way to support community outdoor education programs. Deck out your already awesome bear suit with fun accessories and enter the costume contest within a costume contest to win cool prizes. If you’re a hibernating sort of bear (or a mom hauling cubs), you can sign up for the 3K fun walk. Still feeling frisky? There’s a 5K run, too. Show up before 9 a.m. and you can enjoy some pre-race bear yoga.

RetCon 2019 Gaming Convention

Nov. 9, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Embassy Suites, 7290 Commerce Center Drive, $15-$25, springsretcon.com

Whether you’re a former 1980s kid or a recent 1980s convert, RetCon is here to rock your high top Reeboks with a deluge of nostalgia all weekend long. Join in on tabletop gaming, shop cool threads, vintage toys, old video games and rad memorabilia, and check out VHS ’80s flicks. You’ll also get the chance to play your favorite arcade games and pinball machines — for free. That’s right, no need for pockets full of quarters, your childhood dream of infinite play has become a reality. Dig out your old acid-washed denim and spiked leather jackets, or slap on some shoulder pads and tease your bangs as high as the Rockies because this party is going to be, like, totally rad.

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Misfits Craft + Art Fair

Nov. 10, 2-8 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, tinyurl.com/Ivy-Misfits

Do you have a quirky, funky someone you want to surprise with the perfectly odd gift? The Misfits Craft + Art Fair promises a plethora of bizarre offerings created by local artisans. Explore a variety of unique art, jewelry, vintage apparel and mysterious oddities. Tarot readings will be available, as will delightful eats and face painting. Best of all, it’s in close proximity to spirits of a drinkable nature — no reports yet on the availability of ethereal ones. Despite its more macabre theme, the organizers say it’s family-friendly, so feel free to bring your small humans, especially the weird ones.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Artist Sheary Clough Suiter sets up a disturbing dollhouse at The Bridge Gallery, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 1:00 AM

SHEARY CLOUGH SUITER
  • Sheary Clough Suiter

I Never Played With Dolls

Opening reception, Nov. 1, 5-8 p.m.; on display through Nov. 30, The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., free, thebridgegallery.com

Encaustic artist Sheary Clough Suiter is mum on whether she truly never played with dolls as a child, but there is no question she has played with them extensively for her upcoming show. After more than two decades of creating beautiful artwork, Suiter engaged in what she calls “relentless play,” forging a new, darker path for her creativity accompanied by plastic baby dolls and a desire to disturb.

“Dolls are equated with childish play and imagination. It’s the part of us that thinks we will live forever and that anything is possible,” says Suiter. “Yet dolls out of context can be quite creepy and I play with that juxtaposition of delight versus danger.”

Suiter’s exhibition will showcase the results of her play. She says that no idea was considered off-limits during her exploration — she desired work that would inspire surprise and conversation, as well as a sense of unease. To facilitate the latter, her opening night will include an interactive experience with a living doll that will engage — silently — with guests throughout the evening.

Actor and activist Julia Greene, who just finished performing in the Fine Arts Center’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, will wander the gallery bedecked in a doll costume. Suiter believes Greene’s presence will enhance the feelings of discomfort her pieces tend to inspire. Greene agrees.

“The very nature of a doll is that they are inanimate,” says Greene. “The title of the character ‘living doll’ is antithetical to itself and that makes it uncanny and disturbing.”

Both women have kept the final execution of their vision for the living doll persona under wraps but note that the finished piece will challenge the social gender constructs that begin in infancy and evolve as we reach adulthood. Suiter also hints that Greene’s face could be made to resemble that of a baby doll — think plastic aesthetic, hairless head and artificial mouth. While the final result remains a mystery, what is clear is that Greene will be yet another work of eerie art amongst good, if far more inanimate, company.

While the living doll will only be present during opening night, plenty of non-living dolls will remain on display through the month of November. Those who want a deeper dive into the mind behind Suiter’s peculiar playground can also attend an artist Q&A on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Jewel of a Wine Tasting


Nov. 1, 6:30-9 p.m., Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $65-$75, springsteencourt.org

Teen Court is a restorative justice program run by teens for teens with a powerful record of reducing recidivism. You can help support their mission — now in its 25th year — at their annual wine tasting party. Sip samples of incredible wines from 15 vendors and enjoy a delicious meal while mingling with fellow vino enthusiasts. Purchase a commemorative glass for $25 and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for a piece of beautiful jewelry. Bottles of wine will also be available for purchase during the event.

Veterans Day Parade

Nov. 2, 10 a.m., Tejon Street, free, cosvetsparade.org

Veterans Day might fall on a Monday this year, but the Colorado Springs parade always falls on a Saturday to ensure everyone in the community can celebrate the contributions of our service members. Attendees can expect an enormous lineup featuring marching bands, veterans organizations and other patriotic displays. Refreshments and activities will be available along the route and most of the local shops will be open for business. This year, the event will honor veterans service organizations — those who support others long after they have completed their service. Bundle up, snag a thermos of cocoa or cider and get ready to cheer your heart out for our nation’s veterans.

African Marketplace and Cultural Festival

Nov. 2, noon to 4 p.m., Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St., free, cospringskwanzaa.org

Check out an amazing array of unique African crafts, clothing and art at this family-friendly festival. You’ll learn about the diverse cultures that make up the African continent while enjoying live entertainment provided by spoken-word artists, poets and African dancers and drummers. For those who make all decisions to attend events based solely on the available food, both Jamaican and Sudanese items will be available for purchase and we can promise you that you do not want to miss out on that.

Stuffed

Nov. 5, 6-7:30 p.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, free, tinyurl.com/Stuffed-BCNC

Have you ever pondered the world of taxidermy and the people who practice it? The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival is offering a free screening of Stuffed, a documentary that explores the fascinating people who create lifelike sculptures from the dead. Director Erin Derham’s vivid depiction of a subject that is often viewed with disgust or fear forces viewers to confront their preconceived notions about the craft and its practitioners. While the screening is free, please register in advance to ensure adequate seating is provided.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Manitou Springs ghost tours partner with THEATREdART, plus more events this week

Posted By and on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 1:00 AM

ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith

“Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” Walking Tours

Tours start at 6 p.m., Oct. 25 and 5:30 p.m., Oct. 26, leaving every 15 minutes until 9:15 p.m.; start at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, 517 Manitou Ave., $12-$15,
manitouspringsheritagecenter.org


Though the Manitou Springs Heritage Center’s mission is to preserve the town’s culture and history, the nonprofit certainly isn’t opposed to changing things up a little bit when it comes to their own traditions — such as the fun they’re planning to have with the 25th annual “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” Walking Tours.

“You know, this is our 25th year. And for the last 24 years, [the actors have] been whoever we’ve been able to, you know, arm-twist into playing characters and spirit guides and so forth,” says Neale Minch, a Heritage Center board member. But audience feedback from previous years suggested that it would be nice to see them “step up” the acting a bit.

The Center decided to do just that, and employed local theater group THEATREdART to help bring the town’s historic dead to life.

“There’s around half a dozen or so locations, and each is a scene,” Minch says. “And each tour group has what we call a ‘spirit guide,’ who sets the scene up, and the scene is a story about a character — maybe embellished — from Manitou’s past.” In spite of the embellishments, Minch says the scenes are “as factual as we have facts for.”

Characters of note include famous suffragette Alice Paul, hotel owner Charles Barker (of the long-defunct Barker House) and of course Emma Crawford, the young Manitou Springs woman who died of tuberculosis in 1891, in honor of whom the Emma Crawford Coffin Races are held each year.

Directed by TdA’s Jonathan Andujar, these seven short stories of Manitou’s history feature about 15 actors, plus a whole host of spirit guides.

Minch believes this will be the best production in the tours’ history, and hopefully the start of an enduring partnership between the two organizations.

Science Riot

Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $15, science-riot.ticketleap.com

Science professionals dive headfirst into the terrifying pond of stand-up comedy in this evening of educational hilarity. After a speedy introductory course in the art of stand-up, scientists craft a brief routine related to their field or subject of interest and perform it live before an audience. No topic is taboo, whether it tackles the strange mating habits of animals — or humans — or the hidden humor of mathematics. Speaking of which, science is frequently a far racier topic than one might think; the show is for ages 18 and older.

Pumpkin Carving and Jack-O-Lantern Trail

COURTESY FOUNTAIN CREEK NATURE CENTER
  • Courtesy Fountain Creek Nature Center
Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to noon and 5:30-7:30 p.m., 320 Peppergrass Lane, Fountain, $5 for pumpkins, $4-$5 for trail, tinyurl.com/FCNC-punkin

With mere days left until Halloween, it’s time to frantically pack in as many festivities as possible before the winter holidays take over. Fountain Creek Nature Center is providing double the fun, with two pumpkin-themed parties. In the morning, pre-scooped pumpkins await, along with patterns and carving tools. In the evening, dress up in costume and head back to the center to take a jaunt down Jack-o’-Lantern trail. You’ll encounter your pumpkin and dozens of others all lit up for a delightfully spooky walk. You and the kiddos can make a cool craft, roast marshmallows, and even take your pumpkin home after 7:30 p.m.

Rampart Rager Gravel Fondo

Oct. 27. Registration, 6 a.m., race starts at 8 a.m., Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Blvd., $55, rampartrager.com

Ready to test your limits as a cyclist on some of the Pikes Peak region’s most incredible roads and trails? The Rampart Rager is described as “brutally fun” by organizers, and judging from the 73-mile course option with an estimated two hours of uphill time on the front end, they are not exaggerating. Despite its intensity, the race is sure to wow participants with panoramic views and provide a bit of exhilarating respite during the downhill spurts. For those who desire a slightly less grueling ride, there is also a 30-mile option and absolutely no one will judge you for taking it. Chip-timed race with age group awards and cash awards for first through third place.

COURTESY RAMPART RAGER
  • Courtesy Rampart Rager

Mayor's Young Leader Awards

Oct. 29, 4-6 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., tinyurl.com/MYLA-Oct29, $34.75, tickets.uccspresents.org/1805

Join the community in celebrating the achievements of the region’s top young professionals — folks under 40 making a difference in Colorado Springs. Each year, 30 finalists are selected for their work across six different categories, ranging from community and economic impact to technology and sustainability. This year also features a brand-new category recognizing military leadership. The award ceremony opens with a networking session.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Black History Museum celebrates 10th anniversary, plus more local fests and fun

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 1:00 AM

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Black History Museum 10th Anniversary

Oct. 19. Tours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Black History Museum, 1620 W. Bijou St.; party 6-8:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., $20-$25, ourwestside.org/partners/aahgscs

The city of Colorado Springs is packed with innovative museums devoted to education and history — sometimes discovered in unexpected places. The Black History Museum can be found in one such spot, neatly ensconced in the Westside Community Center, where it has spent 10 years sharing the incredible contributions made by black Americans to the growth and success of Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. This weekend, they’re inviting the community to two events to celebrate their anniversary and create awareness about their mission.

While the museum has been in its current location for a decade, founder Candice McKnight and the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Colorado Springs (AAHGSCS) have been curating the collection for far longer. The society, as it exists today, was once two entities — the Negro Historical Society founded in 1981 and the Genealogical Society founded in 2000. In 2006, they merged a combined 38 years of experience into the AAHGS.

“It is so important to keep our history alive,” says McKnight. “We cannot let it die out over time.” McKnight and other volunteers lead workshops on genealogy in the community to help people learn about their family history. McKnight says that genealogy and history go hand-in-hand and both are necessary to create a real picture of someone’s ancestry.

The first part of the anniversary celebration is an open house with tours, led by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic McKnight. While the museum is not large, it manages to pack a lot of information into a space that was once, quite fittingly, a classroom. McKnight says the museum has more than 2,000 books devoted to black history, in addition to many other displays.

“I am so passionate about genealogy and history,” says McKnight. “I am very serious about what I do and the purpose it serves.”

One display is centered on Colorado Springs’ police officers, including Ron Stallworth, the black officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. The contributions of Colorado Springs black firemen are featured as well. Other displays tout the accomplishments of black pioneers like the Buffalo Soldiers, an all-black military regiment that was instrumental in settling the new frontier, and the Tuskegee Airmen, the country’s first black aviators, credited with flying more than 15,000 sorties in World War II.

In the evening, guests will be treated to a party complete with food and wine at Knights of Columbus Hall near the Penrose Library downtown. KKTV’s James Brown will be the guest DJ, and booths dedicated to history and genealogy will be set up for attendees to ask questions. Proceeds benefit the museum and the AAHGSCS.

Visitors who cannot attend the event can visit the museum Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment on Mondays and Fridays.

Arcadia

Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., dates and times vary through Oct. 27, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$47, uccspresents.org

Interweaving two different timelines, one static set and a whole lot of science, Arcadia creates a dynamic story that envelops the viewer in a world of dichotomy — and parallels. In the past, precocious teen genius Thomasina ponders chaos theory and thermodynamics while bantering with her tutor. In the present, a group of scholars works to solve the mystery of the hermit of Sidley Park. Part comedy and part tragedy, with a bit of love thrown in for good measure, Arcadia offers a unique, engaging theater experience. And if all that doesn’t sway you, maybe the content advisory will seal the deal: “occasional British swearing, attraction, offstage duels, rabbit pistols, and lots of math.”

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Culture Fest

Oct. 18, 5:30-8 p.m. Cheyenne Mountain Library, 1785 S. Eighth St., ppld.org

One of the coolest things about living in a land of many cultures is getting to experience the differences that make us all unique. The Cheyenne Mountain Library welcomes the community to a celebration of the diversity of the Pikes Peak region. The evening will open with a chance to sample foods and beverages from other countries. After that, the vibrant, colorful Ballet Folklorico de Barajas will perform traditional Mexican dance. A table offering henna art and craft projects will be open throughout the event. At the close of the evening, attendees will hear immigration stories from the library district’s adult education students.

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Peak Environment Podfest

Oct. 19, noon to 4 p.m., Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, free, studio809radio.com

The Colorado Springs community is growing rapidly, creating concerns around the city’s environmental future. Local podcast collective Studio 809 is hosting three panel discussions on relevant topics, including groundwater contamination, supporting local food, and the city’s energy future. Sen. Pete Lee will be in attendance as a moderator for the discussion on groundwater contaminants found throughout the region. All three panels will be recorded and shared online. Settle in for a powerful discussion on the environmental future of Colorado Springs.

NAMI Community Night

Oct. 23, 4-7 p.m. NAMI Colorado Springs, 1615 S. Murray Blvd., free, namicoloradosprings.org
Local nonprofit National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five people will face a mental illness in their lifetime. It’s important for those who are struggling — and the people who love them — to know where they can find support when times are tough. Join the NAMI crew for an informal, friendly community night filled with good food, fall festivities and great music. You’ll meet some of NAMI’s partners in community wellness and learn about the resources available for those struggling with mental illness. While you’re there, you can also check out their new space.

Editor's note: The Peak Environment Podfest blurb has been updated to exclude a line about food, which will be available at the theater. We regret the error.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Poetry719 gives us 17 ways to celebrate poetry in five days, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 1:00 AM

COURTESY POETRY 719
  • Courtesy Poetry 719

Poetry719 Festival

Festival: Oct 16-20; kickoff party: Oct. 16, 7 p.m., The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., $10; see full schedule of events at facebook.com/Poetry719

Poetry 719, a local black-run poetry organization, will kick off its second annual poetry festival with an opening night featuring rappers, singers, dancers and, of course, poets. The party is just one of 17 events packed into five days and hosted at venues throughout Colorado Springs.
While the festival is fairly new, Poetry 719 has been around for a decade. The organization began in 2009 as a Facebook group created by Phillip J. Curtis. In 2017, festival organizers and Poetry 719 members Christopher Beasley and Ashley Cornelius shifted the focus of the group to hosting events.

“We saw there was a need to have intentionally inclusive and diverse space for poetry and connection,” says Cornelius.

Poetry 719 has since hosted a wide variety of poetry events, including open mics that provide a platform to individuals who often feel marginalized or ignored by the communities in which they live.

“We do a lot of themed events that center around identity, such as Colorado Black Voices Matter Open Mic, Queer People of Color Open Mic, and Disability Awareness Open Mic to name a few,” says Cornelius.

The offerings for this year’s festival will be no less diverse. Highlights include Poetry & Hiking, Disability & Awareness Open Mic, Erotic Open Mic, Trap & Yoga and the closing event, Listen to People of Color. Both Cornelius and Beasley are looking forward to Poetry & Movement, which was a fan favorite at the inaugural festival held in 2018. 
COURTESY POETRY 719
  • Courtesy Poetry 719


“We’ve partnered with local dancers and have matched them up with Poetry 719 poets,” says Cornelius. “The dancers will then choreograph a piece based on the poet’s work.”

There will be an open mic component to many of the events and Cornelius says attendees who wish to participate can simply show up at the event or sign up ahead of time. As with all Poetry 719 events, participants can expect to find an open, inclusive environment where their voices are heard. For Cornelius, that is one of the most important aspects of poetry, vital in a world that has become more technological and less communicative.

“As a young black woman, I know all too well about being silenced, not being believed or taken seriously,” says Cornelius. “I’ve found poetry makes people listen, it gives voice to those who get looked over and provides a stage for your passions and grief, trauma and love, and that is incredibly important.”

Business & Arts Luncheon

Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Antlers hotel, Heritage Ballroom, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $60, business.coloradospringschamberedc.com

This colorful celebration of the intersection between arts and business will feature six live performances, including dance, poetry readings and music. Attendees will be treated to an art show featuring local art for sale and enjoy a delicious meal. During the event, awards will be given for exceptional leadership. Learn how the business and art worlds are supporting and enriching each other in the community and beyond.


The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Oct. 11, 7 p.m., times vary through Nov. 3, The Butte Theater, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, $21, buttetheater.com

The Mountain Repertory Theatre has declared 2019 the year for misfits, troublemakers and rulebreakers. As the year rapidly comes to a close, its October performance of The Great American Trailer Park Musical certainly fits the (play)bill. Featuring colorful characters — a stripper on the run and a stressed-out agoraphobe, to name two — this country-rock musical refuses to play by the rules of stuffier theater fare. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it will be performed by the hilarious, fan-loving Mountain Rep crew. This is one of their last shows in the Butte Theater space.

Boos & Brews Haunted House

Oct. 12, 3-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., $35-$55, facebook.com/JonEddyProductions

Another beer festival? Yes, please! September and October have offered back-to-back beer celebrations and absolutely no one is complaining. Boos & Brews adds some extra fun to your afternoon of sipping suds with costumes, access to the Haunted Mines and other spooky shenanigans. Distilleries are also participating in the festival, so you’ll get a chance to sample spirits that aren’t relegated to the astral plane. Spring for the VIP pass to get in earlier than the rest of the crowd.

VACANTNSTILL FROM OUT THERE
  • Vacantnstill from Out There

Princess: Out There

Oct. 16, 7-9 p.m. Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $8-$10, cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com

Performance art-pop psychedelic duo Princess brings their nationally lauded tour to Colorado Springs. Through their live performance piece and their concept video album — billed as a sci-fi feminist rock opera — performers Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill explore toxic masculinity, misogyny and the role of men in rectifying the culture of misogyny that exists in our society today.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Pikes Peak Zine Fest celebrates the underground, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 1:00 AM

KELSEY CHOO
  • Kelsey Choo

Pikes Peak Zine Fest

Oct. 5, 1-5 p.m. Penrose Library, Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., free, pikespeakzinefest.tumblr.com

The Colorado Springs zine scene will move out from the underground and into the spotlight with the launch of the inaugural Pikes Peak Zine Fest during the first weekend of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region’s Arts Month. Billed as a celebration of small press and self-publishers, Zine Fest seeks to share the art of the zine with the community at-large while promoting inclusion and diversity.

“Attendees should come with an open mind, ready to support local creators, and ready to get in touch with lots of new viewpoints, art forms and community possibilities,” says event co-organizer Jennifer Eltringham.

What’s a zine, you ask? You’ve probably at least heard the term at some point in time, but if it brings to mind the glossy mass publications that line supermarket checkout aisles, your visit to Zine Fest will be an enlightening experience. Zines can follow a magazine-like construction (except when they don’t) and they are usually made of paper (except when they aren’t), but that’s where any further resemblance to a traditional magazine usually sinks into the ether.

“A zine has the potential to be about any topic,” says Kelsey Choo, a Zine Fest exhibitor and the event’s other co-organizer. “It can be something simple as a story about your dog, or explore bigger topics like the climate crisis or current politics. They can also come in a wide variety of formats, and I love to see the different shapes and forms a ‘book’ can take.”

From sketches and photographs to collages, poetry and political diatribes, zines feature a wide variety of content and are self-produced and distributed in small batches. Throughout history, they’ve served as the unfettered voice of dissidents, artists, writers, oppressed peoples and marginalized subcultures.

“Zines are an easy, low-cost way of getting your voice heard and connecting with others who either share your experience or could learn from it,” says Eltringham. “They make art accessible to lots of people — including those that don’t feel connected to ‘fine’ or studio arts.”

Pikes Peak Zine Fest will feature the works of 40 different zinesters, both local and national.
“The list of exhibitors includes poets, visual artists, printmakers, designers, photographers, crafters and historians all sharing their work in DIY printed form,” says Choo.

Choo also notes that this year’s zine festival will operate as a maker’s market and many of the participants will have zines available for purchase during the event.

“Since this is our inaugural event, we’re trying to keep it simple this year,” say Choo, adding that future iterations could contain workshops and speakers.

For now, both organizers are content to create a space for zinesters to collaborate and show off their creations.

“For some, this will be their very first zine fest,” says Choo. “I feel so honored that we are able to provide this experience for them.”

Eltringham agrees. “Creating space for people to share their work and start conversations is really exciting, and I can’t wait to see what future collaborations and opportunities grow from this event.”

COURTESY SPACE FOUNDATION
  • Courtesy Space Foundation

Space Foundation Discovery Center Birthday

Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4425 Arrowswest Drive, free, discoverspace.org

The Space Foundation Discovery Center is celebrating its seventh trip around the sun with free admission for all guests. The Mars Robotics Laboratory will be open and visitors will get the opportunity to pop party balloons for prizes using a rover. Of course, no party is complete without favors, so expect some stellar space-themed goodies during your visit, too. Be sure to check out the center’s newest exhibit while you’re there. Tech Style will make its debut during the celebration, offering an interactive exploration of spacesuits from other countries, a simulated space walk and the chance to try on space gear.

Motorless Morning

Oct. 5, 6 a.m. to noon, Garden of the Gods Park, 1805 N. 30th St., free, gardenofthegods.com

Garden of the Gods is a stunning example of Colorado’s unique outdoor beauty, but it can be difficult to appreciate the park’s towering rock formations, scenic views and colorful wildflowers while also navigating heavy traffic and clamoring for a parking spot. On Sunday morning, the park will close to motor vehicle traffic for six blissful hours and give pedestrians and cyclists a chance to embrace the quiet peace that befalls the garden when cars are left behind.

Too Many Zooz with - Thumpasaurus - Monday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. - Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave. - Tickets: $20/adv, $22/door; - all ages, 227-7625, - blacksheeprocks.com - COURTESY COLUM MCCANN
  • Courtesy Colum McCann
  • Too Many Zooz with ThumpasaurusMonday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.Tickets: $20/adv, $22/door; all ages, 227-7625, blacksheeprocks.com

National Book Award Winner Meet and Greet

Oct. 7, 7-8 p.m., Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr., free, ppld.org

Award-winning author Colum McCann is paying a visit to Library 21c. Attendees will enjoy a presentation by the author, as well as an opportunity to have him sign copies of his The New York Times Bestseller TransAtlantic. The book, which is also one of the library’s All Pikes Peak Reads selections for 2019, has been praised by critics, and offers an expansive, engaging story that crosses continents — and centuries — through the eyes and experiences of unforgettable characters.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Carmen Machado to speak at Converge Lecture Series, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 1:00 AM

TOM STORM PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Tom Storm Photography

Converge Lecture Series: Carmen Machado

Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $22-$48.50, convergelectureseries.org

COURTESY CARMEN MACHADO
  • Courtesy Carmen Machado
Author Carmen Machado, National Book Award finalist and recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction (among many other honors), doesn’t shy away from tough topics — relevant topics, in this day and age. Her breakout collection of short stories Her Body and Other Parties, explores sexuality, consent, toxic masculinity, feminism and eroticism — and its blend of magical realism, horror and humor is breathtaking.

Her Body, released in 2017 around the initial fervor of the #MeToo movement, received incredible acclaim. Of its success, Machado says: “I think people were hungry and thirsty, no pun intended, for queer women writing about sex. I think that’s just because we get so little of it in the more mainstream sort of literary section that I think it was just like a real pleasure — and people felt that they recognized themselves. They recognized their own desires and communities in those stories.”

But the representation of queer sexualities isn’t the only draw to Machado’s writing. She also explores a variety of contemporary social issues, and flips traditional gender tropes on their heads. In the Dream House, her new book that will be released in November 2019, is a memoir about her experiences with intimate-partner violence, a subject seldom explored in regard to same-sex couples.

“The curious thing with the next book,” she says, “is that I went from writing Her Body and Other Parties to writing a book about domestic violence — queer, domestic violence, right? — and a memoir about what it means to be abused by a woman, which is like, you know, it feels almost like a very radical departure.” But she says that the cultural elements that come into play in this memoir — misconceptions about what women are capable of, unseen effects of the patriarchy — very much align with the rest of her writing.

On Oct. 4, she will speak as part of the Converge Lecture Series, addressing the theme of “moral beauty.”

ANNA ALAI
  • Anna Alai

On The Roof

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., through Oct. 5, Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $15-$19, funkylittletheater.com

New York-based playwright Donna Hoke’s docudrama has seen staged readings before, but this show at Funky is the first time ever that On the Roof has been produced in full, which means you have a unique opportunity to see something brand new right here in town. Set in 1955 New York City, On the Roof explores the lives of those who frequent a cabaret and gay bar in New York City. It’s set at a time in American history when queerness was criminal, before the Stonewall Riots kickstarted the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. The show promises to tenderly explore these characters’ quests for love, family and solidarity, with a rockstar Funky cast behind it. Hoke herself will be in attendance for the show on the 27th.


Art Purge Pop-up Sale

Sept. 28, 5-8 p.m., Kreuser Gallery, 125 E. Boulder St., free to attend, facebook.com/kreusergallery

Well, this is a collaboration for the ages! Three local gallery owners, Lauren Ciborowski (The Modbo), Abigail Kreuser (Kreuser Gallery) and Gundega Stevens (G44 Gallery) have teamed up for a one-night event that should attract all of the region’s art collectors, amateur and otherwise. As local collectors free up some wall space, you’ll have the chance to purchase artwork from the Springs and beyond, new and old. Even if you can’t buy, it’s worth it to stop by and browse.
COURTESY PIKES PEAK BULLETIN
  • Courtesy Pikes Peak Bulletin

Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival

Sept. 28, Noon to 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Springs, Manitou Avenue and El Paso
Boulevard, $10-$42.50, manitouspringsheritagecenter.org

Who doesn’t want to spend a sunny September day sampling beer from more than 30 local breweries, listening to three different live and local bands, and enjoying all the “keep Manitou weird” energy of our neighbors up the mountain? For the fifth year running, the Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival should provide plenty of entertainment, and the Heritage Center promises some surprises this year.

Southern Colorado Conservation Awards

Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m., The Antlers hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $135/ticket, $65/young professional (ages 40 and younger), sponsorships available, palmerlandtrust.org

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of this event, Palmer Land Trust will once again honor a variety of local and regional individuals and organizations for their commitment to environmental conservation. Among the honorees: Dr. Michael Bartolo will receive the Innovation in Conservation Award for his research into agriculture at Colorado State University’s Arkansas Valley Research Center, and Ranchlands, an organization based in Colorado Springs, will receive the Environmental Stewardship Award for educating the public on the importance of living with the land. Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner and ceremony to honor these achievements and more.

Q&A with The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey

Oct. 3, 7-8:30 p.m., CC’s Gaylord Hall, 902 N. Cascade Ave., free, coloradocollege.edu

It isn’t often we in Colorado Springs can get an inside look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C., let alone from a nationally celebrated journalist. Tonight, take advantage of a rare Q&A with Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for The Washington Post and political analyst for CNN and MSNBC. This two-time winner of the White House Correspondents Award for Deadline Reporting will discuss what it’s like covering Trump’s White House.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rubberband Dance Group brings unique style fusion to Ent Center, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 1:00 AM

©BILL HEBERT
  • ©Bill Hebert

Rubberband Dance Group

Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$54.75, uccspresents.org

Fans of both classical and modern dance are unlikely to find a fusion of the two styles as established and streamlined as the Rubberband Method, created by the director and choreographer of Canadian Rubberband Dance Group, Victor Quijada.

Over more than 15 years, Quijada has perfected a unique style of dance that draws inspiration from “the raw dynamic of Hip Hop/break-dancing and the purity of classical formalism,” making for a blend of ballet and contemporary street dancing that’s hypnotic to watch, and is now being taught in dance classrooms around the world. Rubberband Dance Group will be stopping at the Ent Center for the Arts tonight, presenting their piece Vic’s Mix.

If you’re going to see any single show by Rubberband, this is the one you’ll want to catch. Described as both humorous and serious on the Rubberband website, Vic’s Mix promises a showcase of some of the most thought-provoking and visually fascinating dances from Quijada’s repertoire, with a talented group of dancers executing each piece.

Earlier this year, Aisha Ahmad-Post, director of the Ent Center for the Arts and curator of the center’s Artist Series, told the Indy: “Rubberband, of course, takes [dance fusion] to a different level as well, incorporating break dancing, but again with this through-line of modern dance. … It’s interesting how it really feels like modern dance has become sort of this, this sponge that takes on so many different influences.”

In curating the Artist Series this year, Ahmad-Post was intent on featuring a variety of modern dance, including and especially a unique group like Rubberband. “I do find that particular genre particularly compelling,” she said, “and have been really excited by the amount of enthusiasm that’s been greeted with in the community.”


RJWAC Car Show

Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus, 2115 Afton Way, free to attend, $20-$25 to register a vehicle, tinyurl.com/RJWACCarShow

Supporting scholarships for the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus’ auto shop students, this annual car show has it all. Not only will you see lowriders, street rods, contemporary and classic cars, but you’ll also get to meet up with the Colorado Springs EV Club, which will hold its National Drive Electric Week event in conjunction with the car show. “Never ridden in an electric car? Now is your chance!” proclaims the event website. If that doesn’t hook you, come for the food, live music and the opportunity to support D-11 kids.

COURTESY KATHERINE LATONA
  • Courtesy Katherine Latona

Latina Voices

Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon, Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, free, ppld.librarymarket.com

Now in its ninth year, this event aims to lift up and showcase the unique and varied perspectives of prominent local and regional Latinas, all of whom have interesting and inspiring stories to tell. This year, hear from recent UCCS grad Katherine Latona, pictured, whose hard-won degree in art history has brought her a unique perspective on cultural monuments; Dolores M. Martinez, a Colorado native and author of the 2018 book Experiences in the Historical Borderlands: A Shared Ancestry; and 81-year-old Connie Solano de Benavidez, who, with her daughters, founded the dance group Ballet Folklorico de la Raza.

Rocky Mountain OktoberfestPLUS

Sept. 21 and 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, $7-$8/adult, free for ages 20 and younger, oktoberfestplus.com

Truth be told, we’d probably attend any event that promises food prepared by local celebrity chef Brother Luck, but we’re especially excited for this one. Not only will Luck be serving up traditional German cuisine, but the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce will present a healthy helping of entertainment, drinks and activities. In addition to traditional German music, you can enjoy live performances by rock and country acts like Exit West and Cari Dell, and even jazz from the Jeff Houltan Jazz Band. Parking is limited, so be sure to take the shuttle bus from Woodland Park High School — or get yourself a ride if you plan to drink.

COURTESY SPRINGS ENSEMBLE THEATRE
  • Courtesy Springs Ensemble Theatre

By the Bog of Cats

Sept. 26-Oct. 13, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $15, springsensembletheatre.org

The Greek tale of Medea, most famously captured by Euripides in his beloved tragedy, has inspired imaginations for thousands of years. Something about a woman taking revenge on the man who wronged her has long resonated with audiences, and with other playwrights. Inspired in part by this story, Irish playwright Marina Carr wrote By the Bog of Cats in 1998, a gripping and mysterious story of abandonment, motherhood, death and betrayal. Protagonist Hester Swane, who lives by an Irish bog with her young daughter, lives a life beset by ghosts both real and figurative, and Springs Ensemble Theatre will undoubtedly provide the dramatic atmosphere a play like this deserves.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

William Jackson Palmer's historic trash on display, plus more events this week

Posted By and on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Selections from the CSPM Palmer Manuscript & Photograph Collection - COURTESY CSPM
  • Courtesy CSPM
  • Selections from the CSPM Palmer Manuscript & Photograph Collection

Evidence: Finding the Facts About William Jackson Palmer, Opening Day

Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on display indefinitely, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., free, cspm.org

Was General William Jackson Palmer really a teetotaler, or did he like a drink or two?
Check the whiskey bottles in his trash.

People tend to think Palmer didn’t drink because he famously established Colorado Springs as a dry community, Matt Mayberry says, but his trash tells a different story.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
  • Public Domain
“There were wine bottles, whiskey bottles, beer bottles in the trash,” says Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “We got to the point where we could identify some specific alcohol that he had — even types of wine.”

Not many museum directors get the chance to dig through a city founding father’s garbage, but in 2014 flood mitigation crews stumbled upon a trove of relics from Palmer’s life in Garden of the Gods — in what was once a trash dump on his land.

Palmer lived just up the hill from the site, where last fall archaeologists excavated about 60,000 objects from the trash zone. The haul included plate fragments, clothing remnants, fish bones, peach pits, bricks, light bulbs, batteries — and of course those bottles.
Every piece helps tell a story.

“They took those artifacts to the lab,” Mayberry says, “and they’re using them to analyze and test a number of questions that we have about what Palmer’s life was like, what the estate life was like — and a number of those never-before-seen thrown-away objects will be on exhibit as part of Evidence: Finding the Facts About William Jackson Palmer.”

The exhibit, which opens Sept. 14. as part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration, is “a really exciting project,” he says. “We’re looking at the myths related to Palmer and trying to test those — so we’re going to let visitors become historians and evaluate the evidence that’s available to us and determine whether the myths are true, or are they not.”

The museum’s collection began growing in 1896, and today CSPM documents and interprets the tales of the once-quaint resort town Palmer championed. The upcoming exhibit is just one of the ways CSPM is working to bring the city’s history to life, connecting people with ideas and questions and groups they haven’t explored before.

“We want to engage the public, we want them to examine their life relative to the history of the community, and we want to tell new stories,” Mayberry says. “We’re constantly trying to mine our collection, evaluate our collection, for new stories that can be told, engaging new audiences.”


Thespiana

Sept. 13-14, 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 15, 2 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $15, thespiana.com

One of our favorite one-act play festivals is returning for 2019, featuring seven new plays by local playwrights, performed as staged readings by local actors. It’s an annual celebration of theatrical talent right here in the Pikes Peak region, and this year’s lineup features plays by Sue Bachman, Mark Arnest, Warren Epstein and more. “A reluctant hitman, an ambitious, amateur pianist who might be too good for his own good, and a giant from [a] futuristic freak show are among the amazing characters you’ll meet in the fourth annual outing of Thespiana,” the show’s website says.

JAKEERAN
  • JAKeeran

Van Briggle Pottery Festival

Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Van Briggle Pottery, 1125 Glen Ave., free, fac.coloradocollege.edu/van-briggle-pottery-festival

One of the region’s most famous and enduring artists, Artus Van Briggle, is still known more than a century later for his unique designs: functional or aesthetic pieces of pottery, and unique tiles. The building that once housed Van Briggle’s salesroom, kilns, workshops and more is now a historic landmark, and this is your annual opportunity to take advantage of an hour-long tour of its unique features. Join the Woman’s Educational Society and the FAC’s Bemis School of Art for free clay sculpting and wheel throwing, tours and more pottery festivities.

Book Signing With Ceil Horowitz

Sept. 18, 6-8 p.m., Front Range Barbeque, 2330 W. Colorado Ave., free, frbbq.com

Colorado painter Ceil Horowitz has embarked on, in her words, a “six-and-a-half-year painting quest,” and now has finally released the fruits of her labor in a book of 100 still-life paintings. But these paintings aren’t your typical fruit-in-a-bowl still lifes. Each piece in Take One Down Pass It Around depicts, and was inspired by, a unique Colorado beer and the brewery that produced it. Meet Horowitz tonight where her quest started, at Front Range Barbeque in Old Colorado City. She’ll be signing copies of her book.

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Sept. 20, 3 p.m. to midnight, Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo, $5, festival.pueblochamber.org

This year marks a big milestone for one of the region’s favorite festivals. For 25 years now, foodies from Pueblo and beyond have gathered to celebrate the end of summer and the harvest of the region’s most beloved export: Pueblo chiles. While we wouldn’t blame you for attending the festival to breathe in the aroma of roasting chiles alone, you’ll have plenty more to do at this weekend’s big event. Enjoy live entertainment, vendors, cooking competitions and more.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Front Range Open Studios tour features more interactive art than ever, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

COURTESY FRONT RANGE OPEN STUDIOS
  • Courtesy Front Range Open Studios

Front Range Open Studios Tour

Sept. 7-8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., various locations, see website for details, free, frontrangeopenstudios.com

Just north of the Springs, the small town of Monument is home to a surprisingly large number of artists. Walking the streets of downtown, art patrons have any number of options for galleries and studios to visit year-round, but it would be particularly prudent to take a tour this weekend. The annual Front Range Open Studios tour has returned, with 22 artists and 16 locations in and around Monument opening their doors. Many of these locations are not public studios, but rather the private workspaces of sculptors, painters, jewelers, blacksmiths and more. Nancy Bonig, a well-known glass artist and the coordinator of the studio tour, says: “We have set the highest standard for artists on a studio tour and everyone will be doing demos, have drawings or allow the public to participate.”

That means your journey through Monument will be far from static. Instead of simply regarding art on a wall, join blacksmith Jodie Bliss in her studio, where you’ll help her carve sand molds for an iron pour she’ll be completing in late September; meet Barb Ziek’s alpacas and watch a pebble and bead felting demonstration; take direction from painter Michael Malta, who will guide you through a watercolor flower painting of your very own. These and almost 15 other experiences, including demonstrations and prize drawings, come alongside an intimate look at the process of creation, from a variety of talented perspectives.

Some activities come with a small fee for materials, but the tour itself is entirely free, and accessible via a Google map of locations. All weekend, you can drive through the beautiful forests surrounding Monument, walk around the vibrant downtown, and network with some of the region’s finest creatives.

Bonig says in a Front Range Open Studios press release: “You will see how each artist and craftsman has transformed his or her working space with tools, music, books, and specialized materials into their own unique sanctuary, where they find creativity and inspiration.”

Visiting Artists and Critics Series: Vadis Turner

Presentation, 6 p.m., opening reception, 5-8 p.m., Sept. 5, Megaliths exhibit on display through Dec. 8, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free, uccspresents.org

Continuing their tradition of bringing diverse and thought-provoking artwork to the Marie Sharpe Walsh Gallery at Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS’ Galleries of Contemporary Art have invited Nashville-based, mixed-media artist Vadis Turner to exhibit her work. Exploring femininity and the female experience, Turner’s work employs a variety of found materials such as clothing, sanitary products and even her own breast milk. Hear from her at tonight’s opening reception, where she’ll be speaking in the Chapman Foundations Recital Hall.
JANTZEN PEAKE
  • Jantzen Peake

Wrong Side of Da Tracks

Opening reception, Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 30, Manitou Art Center,
513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, manitouartcenter.org

Jantzen Peake’s artwork has always been unusual, inspired by “low-brow” influences like vintage cartoons and grunge music. When the Indy spoke to him in 2016, he said it was hard to find gallery spaces that accepted his unique style. “For the edgier art I do, there’s not a lot of places to show,” he said. “To be a full-time artist is not realistic in a sense, here. But I’m trying to build that the best I can.” Lo and behold, he is now opening a solo show at the Manitou Art Center, featuring an eclectic selection of his works — the weird and the wonderful. DJ Craftmatic will provide the music for the opening reception.

ELIZABETH MONTOYA
  • Elizabeth Montoya

Mythico

Sept. 6-7, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 8, 2 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25, themat.org

There’s no better way to absorb the grandeur, passion and power of Greek mythology than to see it performed, especially if that performance involves the region’s best aerial acrobats. Presented by Aerial Aura, Mythico retells classic Greek tales including Pandora’s Box, the war of the Gods and Titans, Sisyphus, and the Trojan War, with 15 total performers, an original musical score and exciting stage effects. Enjoy aerial silks, trapeze and more dancing on and off the ground, featuring beloved locals like Elizabeth Fluharty, Josh and Joe Lobeck, Chris and Emily Wegert and more.

A Conversation With Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

4:30-6:30 p.m., The Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., free, registration required at csbj.com/events, donations benefit the Give! Campaign and/or the Southeast Express

Colorado’s first Democratic Attorney General in recent memory has involved his office in national issues affecting Coloradans, from DACA to reproductive rights. Though some derisively refer to him as an “activist attorney general,” Weiser recently told the Indy and the Colorado Springs Business Journal: “I just keep in mind what’s best for the state, for the people — what harms them, what affects them, and then I act. So, no, I don’t think I’m being too much of an activist.”If you want to learn more about our state’s top law enforcement official, join us and our sister publication for a Q&A with the man himself. Refreshments will be served alongside your civic engagement.
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